My journey to Hong Kong

Dammy Adigun, Hong Kong

At EY Financial Services we want to help our people achieve their potential by offering international career opportunities across service lines, sectors and geographies. We sat down with Dammy Adigun to hear more about his career story and journey to EY Hong Kong.

Starting out

I was born in Nigeria on Saint Patrick’s Day (although this isn’t enough to qualify for an Irish passport) and went to secondary school on the outskirts of Manchester. After school, I was offered a place at the university in Lancaster, completing an EY degree, which was four years of study with an 18-month placement at EY, including three professional exams.

I’ve had a go at various sports in my bid to seem cool, and have various degrees of failure in each. When I’m not busy embarrassing myself on a field or in water, I try to brush up on my reading. I’m currently reading The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes — thanks to a colleague and personal librarian.

From burgers to banking

My career had humble beginnings, spending weekends on the meat grills at my local McDonalds during college and university. I collected the coveted stars on my badge and before I knew it, had swapped the Maccy D’s’ t-shirt for their stylish shirt and tie combination, working as a shift manager. It was here that I got my first lessons on leading a team with a diverse range of motivations.

I left the glamorous world of fast-food chains for my EY placement in Banking & Capital Markets team during the second year of university, where I picked up the basics of photocopying, ticking and tying, and eventually auditing. I’m still picking up those basics four years later, although there’s less photocopying.

Degree of success

The EY degree played a huge part in my progress at EY. Being able to spend 18 months within the business as part of my degree helped me build a small network of people, which continues to be incredibly helpful to my development within the organization.

The EY experience

I can think of a few highlights from my time at EY so far. I’ve attended a couple of great EY events, the International Intern Leadership Conference and the new senior program in Amsterdam, both of which highlighted the wealth of experiences and opportunities on offer at EY, and the need for me to step out of my comfort zone and think about new challenges.

I’ve worked with some amazing people at EY, from associates right up to partners. I’m yet to come across a member of the executive team who hasn’t made time for my numerous career conversation requests. They’ve shared their experiences and given me some great advice, and I urge everyone (certainly at the senior grade) to do the same.

It’s just those sorts of career conversations that led me to a new phase in my EY career. A catch-up with a senior manager and his efforts to support me in finding a new opportunity was instrumental in my recent move to Hong Kong working in Advisory, Financial Services.

Moving on

I’ve recently moved to Asia to start my new role in the Performance Improvement (PI) Advisory team in Hong Kong. Though quite daunting, it’s a really exciting move for me. I wanted a new challenge and I certainly got it. I’m looking forward to this new phase in EY, in particular building new relationships and experiencing a new culture.

Passing it on

If you’re keen on progressing your career at EY, I would pass on the same advice that was given to me by a partner who I shall not name: EY is such a vast organization that if you wanted to do something completely different, the opportunities are there. I’d also say, be sure to utilize the EY network. Pick up the phone or drop someone an email if they’re working in an area that’s of interest